BENGALURU: In what is seen as a move to reassert his position in the party, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah hosted a dinner meet at a posh hotel in the city on Tuesday. But his dinner diplomacy seems to have not worked indicating that all was not well within the party.
Ultimately, those who attended the meet have been identified as Siddaramaiah loyalists as many disgruntled leaders, who are unhappy over the allocation of cabinet berths, chose to stay away.
Admitting that many prominent leaders who are miffed at missing ministerial berths skipped it, a party MLA told Express, “Former ministers Roshan Baig, H K Patil and Ramalinga Reddy were among those not seen.” However, the MLA tried to play down the absence of many, stating that they were busy with the ongoing legislature session and personal engagements.
The dinner hosted by Siddaramaiah, after his return from the nature cure centre near Dharamshala, was being seen by political observers as yet another power game.
When contacted by TNIE, some leaders appeared not too happy with the dinner meet. Ramalinga Reddy said he was busy organising a Thanksgiving event for 30,000 voters with his daughter Sowmya Reddy, and was not attending the dinner. To a question, he said he did not know whether the CLP or its leader was hosting the event. “Ask the organisers,” he said.
Roshan Baig said attending or skipping a meet was his choice. “I did not feel like going,” he said, adding that he was in Kalaburagi.
When contacted, sources close to Satish Jarkiholi said he did not attend as he had prior engagements in Belagavi. “He might have attended if Siddaramaiah had kept his word, rather than abandon him during the selection of MLAs for cabinet berths,” the source said.
However, Dy CM G Parameshwara, ministers K J George, Priyanka Kharge and Puttarangashetty attended the dinner. Sources said Siddaramaiah had instructed participating MLAs not to shoot any videos at the event.